Rick Hubbard and Candice Lively immediately started gearing up Wednesday for their June 28 showdown in the solicitor’s contest in Lexington County and nearby areas.
Lively’s political team insisted the runoff isn’t an impossible challenge even though she finished well behind frontrunner Hubbard in the Republican primary election Tuesday that narrowed the field to two finalists.
“It’s not that big a mountain to climb,” Lively campaign manager Steve Foshee said.
Lively, who lives in the Chapin area, is counting on her outsider message to deliver a win at the polls that both sides agree probably will see no more than half of the 28,026 primary votes.
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“My people are extremely loyal,” she said. “They’re going to show up again.”
Hubbard, who lives in the Gilbert area, insists the runoff isn’t a letdown after falling 45 votes short of receiving a majority of 50 percent plus one that would have given him an outright win Tuesday.
Lively, once a senior prosecutor in Horry County who now teaches at USC’s law school, received nearly a third of the vote, trailing Hubbard by 5,100.
“There will be no let-up,” Hubbard said of his emphasis on experience as a longtime Lexington prosecutor familiar with cracking down on local crime.
His team will intensify efforts, campaign adviser Luke Byars said. “We have a good ground game, and we’re going to multiply that.”
Lively will continue building support mainly through social media. But she hopes to raise money for traditional broadcast ads and mailings to promote her theme of “a fresh approach and new ideas.”
Meanwhile, Hubbard started rolling out a series of endorsements from local community leaders to join those received from law enforcement officials.
The first came from the third-place finisher in the primary contest, former assistant solicitor Larry Wedekind, who took out a $100,000 personal loan to be competitive in the race.
Hubbard’s near-miss Tuesday is “a strong signal” that voters prefer his experience and style, Wedekind said.
The main hurdle for Lively is continuing to build momentum after it took a while for her “to find her footing,” said one ally, anti-drunken driving advocate David Longstreet of Lexington.
Hubbard and Lively are vying to succeed retiring prosecutor Donnie Myers, who is stepping down after a state record 40 years as solicitor.
Lexington County is the focus of since it is home to 83 percent of voters. But both candidates are staying in touch with those in adjoining Edgefield, McCormick and Saluda counties as well.
Tim Flach: 803-771-8483
Also on the ballot
Other Republican races on the June 28 runoff ballot in Lexington County:
House District 89(Cayce-West Columbia): Micah Caskey and Tem Miles
County Council District 3 (Lexington and south side of Lake Murray): Darrell Hudson and Brad Matthews
County Council District 6 (Chapin, Irmo and Lexington) Erin Long Bergeson and Dino Teppara
Clerk of Court: Lisa Comer and Emily Hinson
Register of Deeds: Rich Bolen and Tina Guerry